Ok, so we go to a local coffee house and we order cappuccinos, café mochas, lattes and espressos. It isn’t the paper cups that make these drinks taste so good. It’s the recipe and of course the prettiness factor. Baristas all have a style of their own and every cup will taste different because of the roast, the grind, the amount used, the water, the temperature and many other things. We have all tried to make these coffee delights at home the way we think they are made, but do we really know the real way they are supposed to be made to extract the enchanting flavors correctly? Here is a quick list of how to make the basic drinks. This is boot camp for coffee drinkers.
Cappuccino: Equal parts of steamed and frothed milk and espresso. The milk goes on top of the espresso. Dust with nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder or shavings.
Café Mochas: The easiest way is to use a good brand of hot chocolate, throw in a shot of espresso and top with whipping cream and chocolate powder or shavings. It looks the best if you put it in a tall glass and use a long handled spoon. For a finishing touch add a saucer and a napkin. Or make a latte and toss in a chocolate flavored shot.
Lattes: Foam & steam milk to 140-degrees. The ratio is 50% espresso and 50% milk. Pour the milk down the side of the cup so it infuses with the espresso. The difference between this and a cappuccino is a latte blends the two things together, whereas the cappuccino keeps them separate.
Espressos: We’ve all had bad espresso. There are many reasons why this is. The number one reason is an unfavorable bean. If you like espresso you are likely a connoisseur of coffee and know what constitutes a good bean. Anyway, to make a good espresso you must do the following:
Use a fine grind
You must tamp the espresso down firmly
You must use a high pressure machine or stove top model
You must not try to make too much at once
You must see the creama on the top, which is a golden-brown foam
You must use an appropriate espresso cup to keep the temperature from dissipating too quickly
All in all, making coffee correctly is all up to you and the way your flavor buds react to the taste. If you like it a particular way, then make it that particular way. However, if you have guests over they may just like the basics. So do yourself a favor and learn the correct way to make lattes and espressos.
_____________________________________________________________Kate Simpson is quietly coming to terms with her addiction to chocolate-covered coffee beans. She is also a regular contributing writer for coffeebeanqueen.com – an excellent site for coffee lovers, with information about coffee makers, coffee bean classification, grinding tips and so much more.